Just last week, we hiked Sauk Mountain. The day was overcast but the flowers were great. It was not remote trail. It is located just off of Hwy 20 near Rockport. Out in the country but not the remote wilderness. There is a state park along the hwy just as you turn off. You drive through the edge of state park on a narrow road which winds for 7 miles to a parking lot. The views are supposed to be great even from the parking lot.
Views, wildflowers and short hikes are always popular with hikers. But yesterday, there were also hunters. Bear hunting season opens August 1st in Washington. Sauk Mountain with its open hillsides filled with berries and flowers is also popular with bears. This brought hunters to the same mountain.
Yesterday, a young hunter mistook a hiker for a bear and fatally shot the hiker. The mid-50's woman was bent over getting something from her pack. She was wearing black. The hunter thought she was a bear and fired a shot. The hiker was hit, knocked from the steep trail and was killed.
Investigations are still going on. I am still hoping to hear more details. One local report says she was just 10-15 minutes on the trail. That would have but her on the open slope starting up the switch backs. The grass was tall but I am still amazed that someone who was from the area would not think about how popular the trail was and not take time to make certain it was not a hiker. Especially on a Saturday morning in August.
It does feel a little creepy to have been on the same trail less than a week ago. I have become much more aware of the hunting seasons. We may want to think about wearing bright clothes. I don't often wear black but G does. Hmmm... maybe it is time for a new hat for G.
I've also heard that she was an avid hiker and was doing what she loved. My heart and thoughts go out to her family and everyone involved.